Video Classics: ‘You Better You Bet’ – The Who

Shot in black and white ‘for artistic reasons’ (whenever one wishes video footage to be ‘artistic’ there is no surer bet than a simple switch to black and white), the following promotional video for [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]the Who[/lastfm]’s 1981 hit “You Better You Bet” has the distinction of being one of the first videos every shown on MTV (it was #4). An energetic stage performance by the band served straight up, its simplicity can be somewhat refreshing when viewed next to the more elaborate videos that were to become a hallmark of MTV in the ’80s.

Granted, being the fourth video ever shown on MTV is a bit of an obscure distinction, but fortunately “You Better You Bet” has more going for it than just that. It also was the Who’s last song to reach the Top 20 (it peaked at #18 in the U.S. and at #9 in the U.K.).

Written by Pete Townshend, the song was chosen to lead off their album Face Dances. The album was the first released by the band since the death of Keith Moon, with Kenney Jones on drums. The album received mixed reviews, but Roger Daltrey has gone on record as saying he liked the end product, and some critics hailed it the band’s best album since Quadrophenia.

Starting in 2006, the band revived “You Better You Bet” by including it once again in their concert setlist. An energetic, danceable song, it has been well-received by audiences and looks may be in the Who’s concert rotation to stay.

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